Dengue fever: Serotype-2 more active in Nepal

Kathmandu : The current circulating serotype of dengue virus in the country is DENV-2, according to a study carried out by the Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases Control Division of the Ministry of Health and Population.

Dr Gokarna Dahal of the Division said that 41 per cent of the total cases are of DENV-2. The Division had examined 58 samples from the National Public Health Laboratory and BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan. In 2022, the cases of DENV-1 and DENV-3 were more common last year. According to WHO, dengue virus (DENV) has four serotypes (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, DENV-4) and it is possible to be infected by each. Infection with one serotype provides long-term immunity to the homologous serotype but not to the other serotypes and sequential infections put people at greater risk for severe dengue.

Currently, all four serotypes have spread in Nepal. Dahal said that a total of 5,688 cases of dengue fever have been reported in the country since January 2023 and Sunsari district has the highest cases with 3,486. WHO states that there is no specific treatment for dengue; however, timely detection of cases, identifying any warning signs of severe dengue infection, and appropriate case management are key elements of care to prevent patient death and can lower fatality rates of severe infection.

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